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Our season still by and large hinges on one position

08 May 2015 - 05:23 PM

The news out of rookie mini-camp today has been very encouraging and exciting to hear.  But, I won't feel entirely comfortable that we're ready to take the next big step forward as a team until we get to training camp and see what we're working with at LT.  I am really, really, REALLY hoping that pairing Oher back up with Matsko will jump start his career again.  We can't have another year with a turnstile LT.  When we're having to run max protect on the majority of our passing plays, it really hamstrings our offense. 


If we can field a decent LT this year, I really feel that we can truly be a contender.  Another turnstile at LT and I still feel that we can be a good team, but it's hard seeing us being a legit Super Bowl contender.

Prepare yourselves

01 May 2015 - 12:33 PM



Looking over the list of players we've visited with, I think it's likely we go defense again in the 2nd.  It's a pure numbers game.


Offensive players I think are in play for us at #57 based off of visits:

Darryl Williams

Tyrus Thomas

Ty Sombrailo

Devin Smith

Justin Hardy

Ty Montgomery

Tyler Lockett

Duke Johnson

Tevin Coleman


Defensive players I think are in play for us at #57 based off of visits:

Carl Davis

Jordan Phillips

Eddie Goldman

Michael Bennett

Preston Smith

Owamagbe Odighizuwa

Za'Darius Smith

Mario Edwards Jr.

Danielle Hunter

D'Juan Smith

Steven Nelson

Ronald Darby

Quentin Rollins

Jalen Collins

Landon Collins

Jaquiski Tartt


I just think that based on the prospects we've been connected to, there's a very good chance that the BPA on Gettleman's board will be a defensive player at #57.



Throwing down the gauntlet, at #25 I want one of these three guys

16 April 2015 - 05:18 PM

Jaelen Strong, Jake Fisher, or Preston Smith



I don't care what people say about Strong and lack of separation or whatever.  When I see this guy play, I just see a football player that makes fuging plays.  Proehl can help him clean up his route running, but you can't teach his physicality and hands.  I really like Devante Parker too, but I'm working under the assumption that he won't be there at #25.


IMO, Fisher has the highest upside of any OT in the draft other than Ogbuehi.  I'd have Ogbuehi here if it wasn't for the ACL.  Fisher has elite movement skills for a big man and Oregon's OL absolutely fell apart in the games he missed.  He's the real deal.  Day one starter at LT.  I could warm up to Ereck Flowers, but I prefer Fisher.


I don't care that people say Smith isn't a 1st rounder.  He's the best all-around 4-3 DE in this draft.  He has the ability to play anywhere along the DL in a 4-3 and we all know how Gettleman loves that ability.  The guy is relentless.  I think Dave will love the guy.  No second name mentioned here.  If we go defense, this is the guy I want.

My breakdown of the top OT prospects

24 March 2015 - 03:52 PM

Jake Fisher


Combine Drills:


Game tape:

Can't find anything except highlights.

What to like:  Plays with a nasty streak.  Good balance, good movement.

What not to likeA little slow changing directions.  Has a tendency to get grabby leading to holding penalties.  Arms are a little short at 33 3/4".

My take:  I like this guy.  Oregon's pass protection absolutely fell apart last season when he went out.  IMO, he has the natural movement you want and his flaws are coachable.

NFL comparison:  Jordan Gross.  He's not going to wow you with athleticism, but he's a good athlete and plays mean.


Cedric Ogbuehi

Recovering from a torn ACL, so no combine drill.  Game tape only.

What to like:  Quick feet and a good base.  His kickslide is a little short for dealing with elite NFL speed rushers, but I think that's correctable.  Ideal arm length at 35 7/8".

What not to like:  The biggest flaw I see from this tape is his tendency to play a little high.  At the college level, he can absorb the contact and reset and anchor, but I think he's gonna get dumped on his backside a few times early on in the NFL.

My take:  I like this guy.  I like him a lot.  IMO, he'd be in the running for #1 OT in the draft if it wasn't for his ACL injury, but that ACL makes him a complete wildcard in the draft.

NFL comparison:  Ryan Clady.  Very smooth athlete who plays with more finesse than power.


Brandon Scherff


Combine Drills:  Can't find the drills, only 40 and bench reps.

Game tape:

What to like:  Plays mean.  Just looks physically dominant in college.

What not to like:  Only 23 reps for a guy whose game is based on largely on power is a bit of a red flag.  Built like a guard and moves like a guard.  Doesn't really even have a kickslide, he just kind of shuffles. 

My take:  He's gonna be an OG in the NFL and I think he fits best in a power run scheme.  I'm not as big on this guy as everyone else seems to be.  Not sure his game translates as well to the NFL where everyone is huge and strong.

NFL comparison:  Richie Incognito.  Powerful mauler with attitude.


La'el Collins


Combine Drills:

Game tape:

What to like:  Nasty run blocker who faced top competition week in and week out.  Moved like a LT at the combine.

What not to like:  Measured like an OG at 6'4" with 33.5" arms.  Kickslide looked much better at the combine than it did during games.  Moves like an OG on game tape. 

My take:  Like Scherff, I think he's getting kicked inside at the NFL level.  Again, like Scherff, I'm only including him here because many are considering him an OT prospect.  Best OG prospect in the draft IMO.

NFL comparison:  Zach Martin.  Everyone is comparing Scherff to Zach Martin, but IMO Collins is the Martin comparison in this draft


Andrus Peat


Combine Drills:


Game tape:

Can't find any.

What to like:  Prototype size at 6'7" with near 35" arms.  Very thick lower half.  Comes from a pro style system at Stanford.

What not to like:  Very labored movement with slow change of direction.  

My take:  IMO, Peat is a RT in the NFL and I think he's a really good one in the right scheme.

NFL comparison:  Phil Loadholt.  Huge size, big time power, limited athleticism.


Ereck Flowers


Combine Drills:


Game tape:

What to like:  Raw talent.  You can't teach 6'6" 329# with 34.5" arms and 37 bench reps.  Natural run blocker.  Gets off quick and finishes with power.  Kickslide looked pretty good on game tape.

What not to like:  Raw talent.  Combine drills were rough.  His kickslide was a mess, he didn't look balanced, and he didn't mirror his lower body with his upper body - a lot of reaching.  Explodes off the ball during runs, but can be slow out of his stance in pass protection.  The raw talent and athleticism are obvious, but the technique is a mess.

My take:  This is the Kelvin Benjamin of OTs in this draft.  There's so much to like, but so many question marks.  I have a feeling this guy is all over the place on draft boards.  He's kind of a love him or hate him type prospect.  I don't think he can start out at LT in the NFL.  I think he has to start out on the right side, but I think he has the raw talent to potentially move over to LT after a season or two. 

NFL comparison:  Jeff Otah.  I meant this as mainly a good thing.  Hulking OT with crushing power and underrated athleticism.


D.J. Humphries



Combine Drills:


Game tape:

What to like:  Faced top competition every week.  Versatility - played both at LT and a C in college.  Nasty player who finishes blocks and plays to the echo of the whistle.

What not to like:  Marginal measurables, marginal athleticism, marginal movement skills.

My take:  I don't like him as an OT.  IMO, he's a backup NFL OT.  I think he's the best C prospect in the draft though.  Looks really good in a phone booth.  Doesn't look comfortable in space.  A little tall for a C.  Mid-round prospect as an OT

NFL comparison:  Max Unger.


T.J. Clemmings


Combine Drills:  Can't find it, but here's this...


Game tape:  Can't find it.

What to like:  Great physical measurables at 6'5" 309 with 35" arms. 

What not to like:  Very raw as an OT.  Has only played the position for two seasons and both seasons were at RT.  Doesn't look powerful to me and only had 22 bench reps. 

My take:  Pure developmental pick IMO.  Just too raw and too inexperienced to even look at prior to the 3rd round.



Laurence Gibson


Combine Drills: 


Game tape:  Can't find anything.

What to like:  Ideal NFL measurables at 6'6" 305# 35" arms and 10 3/8" hands.  That's how you draw them up on paper.  Good raw athleticism and movement skills. 

What not to like:  Doesn't show great power and his 24 bench reps reflects that.  Movement skills show promise, but they're very raw.  He's not ready to play in the NFL as a rookie.

My take:  Possibly the most intriguing LT prospect in the draft.  Ideal measurables and very good athleticism.  He was a late bloomer showing up at VT at only 255# and added 20# in the last offseason.  If he can put on another 15-20# in an NFL weight program and beef up his playing strength, this guy could be the real deal.  Pure boom or bust IMO.  Very interesting developmental prospect.  I'm only including him here because we've been connected to him in the pre-draft process.


How I rank them (OTs only):

1. Cedric Ogbuehi - in terms of pure talent and NFL prospects, obviously won't be the #1 OT selected since he's coming off of an ACL.  I'd be ALL OVER this guy if his knee checks out and he's there in the 2nd round.
2. Eric Fisher - safest LT prospect in the draft IMO, but I don't know if he's ever anything more than an average to above average NFL LT and I think he'll struggle some early.  I would absolutely consider him at #25.

3. Ereck Flowers - a bit of a boom or bust IMO if you're taking him as a LT, but at worst I think he's a solid RT, at best he becomes a dominant LT.  Definitely in consideration at #25, just not sure if we love him or hate him.  His measurables scream "blue goose".

4. Andrus Peat - safest RT prospect in the draft IMO, I just don't think he has the athleticism to play LT but I think he's a day one plug and play RT.  I wouldn't take him at #25.

5. T.J. Clemmings - I'm not in love.  Not in the least.  Developmental prospect and even though he's further along at this point, I'd actually prefer Gibson as a developmental prospect. 

6. Laurence Gibson - pure boom or bust.  This guy either adds the necessary strength and cleans up his technique or he doesn't.  Can't play as a rookie or he's gonna get absolutely manhandled and abused.  Starting in the 4th round, this guy becomes intriguing.  Wouldn't shock me a bit if we took him.  This guy could be one of those comp picks.


*Edited to add Clemmings




Another "Look at my totally irrelevant mock draft!" thread

02 March 2015 - 12:23 PM

I've been pretty vocal on everyone else's mock draft thread, so it's only fair that I post my own so that y'all can beat me up over it.  I'll go ahead and go all 7 rounds here.  A complete crap shoot, but hey, it's the offseason and I'm bored, so here goes...


Round 1:  Ereck Flowers, OT - Miami

Gettleman has been quite vocal this offseason that they have to help Cam and we all know Gettleman loves his hog mollies.  Flowers is a hog mollie if there's ever been one.  Prototype LT size at 6'6", 329# with 34.5" arms and 10" hands.  37 bench reps.  Granted, his footwork is a borderline nightmare right now, but I think he has the athleticism to fix it and I think Matsko has done a pretty damn good job of making chicken salad out of chicken poo along the OL for us.  I do think we'll sign a veteran OT this offseason (someone like Oher) to compete at LT so that we wouldn't be forced to play Flowers there if he wasn't ready.  I could definitely see Flowers pulling a Jordan Gross and starting out at RT before eventually sliding over to LT.  In that case, I think we'd try to prep Remmers to be a backup swing tackle for us.  If Flowers doesn't turn out to be a LT?  Hey, I'll take a potentially dominate RT at #25 all day everyday. 


Round 2:  Devin Smith, WR - Ohio State

Again, I think this offseason is going to have a heavy focus on helping Cam. IMO, the top 4 WRs (Cooper, White, Parker and Strong) will be gone at #25 and anyone else would be a reach there.  After that, I think boards are going to vary widely on WRs based on what teams are looking for in a WR.  What we need is a deep threat and that's what Smith is.  I think Gettleman is going to make a pretty hard push to get Cam locked up long-term soon and I think part of that push is due to his plan to really focus on surrounding Cam with the right pieces this offseason.  Better to lock him up now than have to negotiate with a guy who just had an All-Pro type of season.  Rivera has been pretty vocal about needing a legit deep threat in the WR corps.  That's what Devin Smith is - he goes deep.  He does it better than anyone in the college game.  It's not just about his speed, but the way he tracks the ball in the air.  The QB sends it down field and he goes and gets it.  His route running is fairly raw, but like Matsko with Flowers, I expect Proehl to be able to take a relatively raw lump of super athletic clay and turn it into a very good NFL player.  Urban Meyer has never been great at developing talent.  He recruits elite talent and puts that talent on the field pretty much as is and finds a way to work that talent into his system.  That's fine.  He's paid to win college football games and he's proven he can do that as well as anyone.  His job isn't to develop NFL talent.  Smith will need some work on the nuances of the game, but he's ready to do right now what we really lack in this WR corps.  I'm also reading into Proehl on this one.  He didn't try to hide his love of KB last year and Devin Smith is the only prospect he tweeted about during the Combine.  The one player I think would throw a wrench into this plan is Mississippi State DE Preston Smith.  I think Gettleman will love this guy.  I just don't think he'll take him in the 1st and I don't think he'll be there late in the 2nd.


Round 3:  Eric Rowe, CB/S - Utah

The secondary played much better down the stretch, but it's clear that we need an upgrade at safety to replace Harper and we still need a 3rd CB.  Rowe played both safety and CB at Utah and did them both well.  I think we'll add another veteran safety into the mix during FA.  I'd give Rowe a chance at CB first and if that doesn't work out, slide him over to safety.  He's 6'1", 205# tested well across the board at the combine, and has college production.  If I have a doubt here, it's that he may not be there at this point in the draft.


Round 4:  Tyler Lockett, WR/PR - Kansas State

If this kid was 2" taller, he'd probably get drafted 2 rounds earlier.  At 5'10, 182 you have to be a little worried about how he'll hold up at the NFL level, but that's why he's available here.  Should be an instant impact player as a return man and a better version of Corey Brown at a WR.  I still like Brown and I think we'll have a spot for him on the roster, but if we draft two WRs in the top four rounds, he better come to camp ready to fight for his job.  I think we're likely to add a mid-level veteran to compete with Harper too.  Not sure either Smith or Lockett are guys the staff will want at #2 WR next season.  Depends on how quickly Proehl could get Smith up to speed.


Round 5:  Tyrus Thompson, OT - Oklahoma

The double dip at OT.  Remmers performed admirably well at RT for us last year, but are we really ready to pencil him in as the long-term answer there?  Remember when everyone was ready to pencil in Melvin White as a long-term starter at CB?  Lots of guys can come in and play well for a short period of time, but they get exposed when NFL teams have time to really study their tape.  Remmers was a practice squad player for the Rams for a reason.  I like the guy and he definitely has a place on our roster, but I'm not sure he's the long-term answer as a starter.  Thompson has a world of potential, but concerns about his effort and "want to" cause him to slide all the way to the bottom of the 5th in this draft.  At that point, I'm willing to roll the dice on potential.  Hopefully coming to a team that has ample opportunity at OT and a very good OL coach (IMO, at least) can light a fire under him.


Round 6:  Jake Ryan, OLB - Michigan

The guy just produces.  Very little wow factor, but the kid can flat out play.  We need younger depth at LB and Ryan could probably compete right way for the 3rd LB spot in our base 4-3 package.


Round 6 (comp pick):  Davis Tull, OLB - Chattanooga

A double dip at LB?  What???  Like I said, we need to get some young depth in this unit and we all know that the Panthers have to take at least one small school prospect in every draft.  Here he is.  Dominated at the D1AA level, but he played DE there and will probably have to stand up at the NFL level at 6'2", 246#.  What he'll do for us right way is come in and be a mad dog on special teams and possibly compete for a situational pass rusher role.  Rivera and Gettleman have both acknowledged a need to focus more on special teams ability.  I think this kid has the ability and attitude to be a special teams demon.  This is a guy I'm having to rely on scouting reports on as I've never seen Chattanooga play.


Round 7:  Deshazor Everett - CB, Texas A&M

This is another special teams focused pick.  Like Tull, Everett has a motor that just won't quit and those are the types of guys that don't mind making their impact on special teams to earn a chance on an NFL roster.  As a DB, he is undisciplined as hell.  Makes a lot of splash plays, but will just abandon his assignments in order to try to go for the big play.  That's the type of stuff that terrifies NFL coaches and the reason Josh Norman spent so much time in Rivera's dog house.  Coaches would rather play a guy who will get beat while playing within the scheme than play a guy who will blow coverages while freelancing.  If a guy gets beat while playing the scheme, it's easy to go to the GM and say you need to upgrade that position.  If a guy gets beat while freelancing, it makes the coaches look BAD.  Everett can come in and be a demon on special teams and fight for a role in the secondary.  It's there for the taking.  If we already need a 3rd CB, then the need for a 4th CB is a given.